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Ottawa Condemns Rogers, TELUS and Bell for “Dishonest” Lobbying

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The Harper government has fired back at Canada’s Big Three wireless providers for their PR campaign aimed at forcing Ottawa to reverse its wireless policies. Industry Minister James Moore described incumbent efforts as a “dishonest attempt” to misrepresent public debate through “misleading campaigns,” reports the Globe and Mail.

Moore today published a response to Bell Canada board member Anthony Fell, who criticized and questioned the minister’s ability and knowledge when it comes to implementing telecommunications policy in such a short time, calling it “unseemly” the former could become an expert in such a short time.

In a public reply on this website, Moore fired back:

In his letter, Mr. Fell says our policies are merely “a political populist initiative to capitalize on a mis-informed public view” of Canada’s telecommunications industry. I can assure Mr. Fell that our policies were quite deliberate, based on a great deal of consultation with all players – including Canada’s wireless companies – and will serve Canadians well.

Unlike Mr. Fell, I do not believe the public is misinformed. I think Canadians know very well what is at stake and they know dishonest attempts to skew debates via misleading campaigns when they see them. Equally, Canadian consumers know instinctively that more competition will serve their families well through better service and lower prices.

Wireless incumbents recently launched a website titled “Fair for Canada” calling for change in Ottawa’s wireless policies as they will ultimately put Canadian jobs on the line. Full page ads, such as the one below, have hit newspapers along with various spots on local radio stations as well to garner public support.

Despite these ads, many have questioned how Rogers, TELUS and Bell can preach the potential loss of Canadian jobs when they themselves have outsourced local positions overseas. TELUS has a call centre in Manila, Philippines which employs 3,000 people; Rogers has outsourced IT services to IBM; Bell has outsourced jobs to India.

Earlier today the Consumers’ Association of Canada publicly commended the Harper government for its work in trying to bring in Verizon to ease the wireless market into a more level playing field.

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  • Good.
    They have to understand that we aren’t dumb and we aren’t their bitches.

    They are just showing how afraid they are.

  • Ben

    Well, one solution, regulate that all wireless companies must keep jobs within Canada. This would be “fair”, even though I’m sure the Big3 would not agree about that…

  • Cottonswab

    Robellus needs to go down! Every Year they make a huge profits and complain they don’t make enough.. give me a break. Now they already are going to be robbing people with these NEW 2 Year plans that supposed to be their best ever. Yeah right!

  • PRSHAN

    like i said before Verizon is the only one the can compete and take down against the Monopoly BIG 3

    they took advantage of themselves while setting up shop in the last 20 years
    The Big 3 have plenty of spectrum already.
    This is not tilting the playing field. This is giving a new entrant (Verizon) a fighting chance to have a business plan that actually offers a return on investment, and a reason to invest in Canada.

    The Big 3 want nothing more than the status quo, which means that they’ll swallow up Wind and Mobilicity in due course that monopoly not competition , just like they do any new entrants eventually (remember Clearnet and Microcell AKA FIDO?)

  • Tired8281

    It feels weird, agreeing with the Harper government.

  • Steven Ave.

    I haven’t really been a big Harper fan in general, but I have a ton of respect for them not backing down to a well funded PR campaign…in this case, they are acting on behalf of Canadians. So to Robellus, please do us all a favor and STFU.

  • mariobourque

    Would not be so bad if they left a “contact us” option and provided us with the data they are using to make their claims. I’ve seen what companies offer in other countries and it doesn’t match up with claim from the big three. I heard a radio commercial yesterday from a “Rogers employee in Moncton” who had a southern Ontario accent (I grew up in Moncton, the Moncton accent wasn’t there). I would not expect them to lie down either; this could represent a huge hit to their earnings. I don’t think we’ll see a huge difference if Verizon comes into Canada from a price war, but each of the big three could stand to lose a third of their business in their mobility divisions. That’s a fair chunk of cash and investors will be screaming. I’m not sure why they thought they could win the customer service battle either. If they opened up the lines of communication and were transparent as to why costs were so high, that could be a game changer, but when more of us are forced to do more with less due to higher taxes and prices on goods, Canadians go to where they can get a good deal for their earned dollars.

  • FragilityG4

    And this is why I support the Harper government.

    To the Stupid Three … If your site “Fair for Canada” is truly “Fair” why not have a comment section? Oh yeah you’ll hear the truth from Canadians.

  • kevin

    I think its funny how they say they care about canadian jobs when their call centres are in india.

  • crosseyed_mofo

    so does this article if you read it

  • mariobourque

    Rogers in particular has the most to lose. They are bleeding cable customers to Bell Fibe and if they have to take a hit in the wireless division, that will hurt their earnings and limit organic growth.

  • ????Dennis

    Same here buddy. They have the balls to go against the lobbyists and heavily funded campaigns. They can’t be bought, unlike the liberals who sell out to the highest bidder.

  • Big3FreeFalling

    it’s so obvious they are opposing verizon entering Canadian market because it will hurt their profit NOT the canadian economy. If something like this happened in some other industry the big 3 wouldn’t have given rat’s ass about it… They DO NOT care about Canandian economy… BIG BUSINESSES only care about their profit and their stock price.

  • SayonaraBig3

    I don’t support the Harper government but they are definitely doing this right.. I hope they go through with this all the way through. It’s obvious the big 3 are taking ALL Canadians for fools for them to have such idiotic campaign and expect Canadians to be sympathetic. they’ve had all the time in the world to respect their customers and treat them failry but since they didn’t do that I HOPE Verizon steals all their customers.

  • Tired8281

    There’s a nice little form on that site. I used it to write this little letter (changed it a bit from what Robellus suggested):

    “I am writing you to express my concern regarding the possibility of Verizon’s entrance into Canada.

    I recently learned that Verizon was getting a special deal from the government to try and encourage competition. I think this is fantastic, and should be encouraged, and I am delighted to see that happening.

    Changing this decision due to lobbying by the incumbent carriers would be extremely unfair to Canadian consumers, who have been paying outrageous fees in this country for years and have received very few services for their hard-earned dollars.

    It is a fundamental principle of our system that every company competes—it should be no different for the wireless industry.

    I respectfully request that the government give special treatment to Verizon, instead of maintaining the status quo that benefits only Rogers, Telus, and Bell. Make the big three play by fair rules!”

    CC’ed it to the PMO and Roger’s media office. Let’s use their own tool to undermine them!

  • Dave

    I caught one of the “fair” commercials last night, asking if it’s fair if Canada sold half it’s water ways… at first I thought it was about the Oil companies until a the very end it says the message has been brought to you by Telus Rogers, Bell. What a load of BS, I can’t believe the big 3 are using such tactics. Trying to scare Canadians with a commercial that has nothing to do with telecom and comparing it to the Verizon situation.

  • job

    Harper lies. I just called which took me to the philipinnes..harper has done to stop them from outsourcing. He is barking one thing, but actually supporting their outsourcing efforts along with transunion and equifax

  • job

    U ppl r clueless. None of these companies outsourced when harpee took power, but now all of them and he is doing absolutely nothing to stop them…..so do u really think he is on ur side. He fake preaches one thing while pocketing the money himself and u all fall for it like dumb religion.

  • Blairdeee

    Ha! Shaw just bought Wind mobile. Shaw keeps the jobs in Canada. I’ll be switching to Shaw/Wind as soon as the plans are announced

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